October 28, 2008 · 12:40 PM
Give Mark Bradley credit for nailing the sucker:
… Georgia’s celebration, which didn’t go according to Richt’s script and for which it was penalized twice and for which he keeps apologizing, is the single smartest thing he has done as a coach. It changed the dynamics of a series that, from the Bulldog perspective, was past due for a change. It served its purpose leading into last season’s game, turning his team’s focus from the usual Jacksonville gloom and doom to something brighter — how are we going to celebrate? — and it has become the gift that keeps on giving.
Not quite complying with his coach’s gag order, the famous Tim Tebow admitted to the Orlando Sentinel that the Gators have a photo of the dancing Dogs in their locker room. Think about that: A team that won the 2006 BCS title is concerned with the team that, until 2007, was its personal doormat. And the run-up to this year’s game will be dominated by one line of discussion:
How will the Gators respond? Have they planned something themselves? What if Georgia springs a new “spontaneous” display? Does Urban Meyer have a counter-counter-celebration in his famous playbook? And will Tebow and Co. be so bent on vengeance that they forget to execute those famous plays?
Of course, Meyer is on record as saying the Celebration has no bearing on this Saturday’s game, so there’s that…
October 28, 2008 · 9:14 AM
Steele has a post up showing the NCAA rankings for teams based on opponents’ won-loss totals. The NCAA doesn’t account for schedule strength in these calculations, so they should be taken with a grain of salt, but, still, ranked at #1, projected to play more teams with winning records (10) than any other school in the country, ladies and gentlemen, your Georgia Bulldogs.
October 28, 2008 · 7:16 AM
In case you haven’t noticed, Michigan isn’t enjoying a very good season in the first year of Rich Rodriguez’ regime. In response to a reader’s query about how to deal with certain failings of the Wolverine offense, MGoBlog’s Brian Cook offers some succinct advice:
Bet on Michigan’s opponent. This is called a “hedge,” and works great in the financial industry!
That made me laugh. I mean, I’m not floating in the same emotional boat right now, but if that ever were to come to pass, I’ll wish I had said that.
October 28, 2008 · 7:04 AM
Let me just say that every once in a blue moon, I approve of the AJ-C’s pot stirring.
Jorts would be an improvement. (Photo courtesy Frederick Gibson)
I beg you, please give me your captions in the comments.
October 28, 2008 · 6:51 AM
Mark Weiszer has the first of what will no doubt be many articles illustrating how the Celebration really isn’t on the collective minds of Gator Nation, but what caught my eye was a quote from Urban Meyer that seems to equate the place where his team plays with, um, Earth.
The whole Earth.
But [Meyer] said on Sunday: “If someone says this was the focus of the offseason, then they’re from a different planet than Gainesville, Fla.”
Hokay, dude, consider me a blogger from another planet.
October 28, 2008 · 6:27 AM
I was driving home yesterday listening to Herbstreit on Belue-Kincaid and for some reason it suddenly dawned on me that I had left out a big factor in LSU’s apparent decline this season: turnover margin.
Last year, LSU had one of those off the chart type seasons, finishing +20 in turnover margin (1.43 per game). So far this year, the Tigers are a not so scintillating -5 (-0.71 per game). That’s a negative swing of over two turnovers a game. No wonder they don’t look so dominant this time around.
Some other noteworthy points about this:
- Florida’s enjoying the biggest increase in turnover margin ratio in the SEC from last year to this year. The Gators, currently +10, are on pace to match LSU’s total from last year, which would be outstanding. They’ve improved more than a turnover a game from last year’s average. No other school in the conference has increased its ratio that much.
- Kentucky and Vanderbilt have also improved significantly from 2007, although not at Florida’s pace. Vandy’s positive turnover margin has been slowly declining of late, which no doubt has contributed to its losing streak.
- While no school in the SEC has dropped as precipitously as LSU in this statistical category, other teams that have fallen significantly are Georgia (second in the conference last year, currently sixth) and Arkansas, which has gone from +4 (0.31 per game) to -8 (-1 per game).
- And a special shout out goes to South Carolina. The ‘Cocks were eleventh in the conference in 2007, with a -0.58 per game average. They’ve managed to drop to twelfth this season, almost doubling their mark to a -1.12 average per game. That’s your Vandy loss right there.
October 28, 2008 · 5:59 AM
- Penn State
BEST OF THE REST
- Boise State
- Oklahoma State
- Southern California
- Texas Tech
- The only tough call for me was at #12. In the end, I like Boise’s win against Oregon over anything Ohio State’s done so far.
- Florida’s resume strikes me as a tiny bit better than Georgia’s and Southern Cal’s right now. The Gators’ loss was due to sloppiness with the ball; the Dawgs and Trojans simply got dominated, at least for a half, in their losses. That, of course, will not matter after Saturday, I hope.
- LSU, you’re dead to me now.
- I don’t think that Texas Tech’s win over Kansas was as big as a lot of folks make out – the Jayhawk defense looked flat out awful – but I don’t feel bad about including Leach’s crew in the dirty dozen this week. Now if they beat Texas, that will make things interesting composing a ballot next week.
- No school from the ACC or the Big East even crossed my mind in putting this ballot together.